Our next emerging artist is a self-taught instrumentalist with a vibey mezzo-soprano tone - DMV Aux presents to you, the courageous, multi-talented, Ayiana Maria!
Ayiana currently resides in Richmond, Virginia, but was born and raised in the Woodlawn area of Baltimore, Maryland. Though she misses her hometown, she enjoys exploring and discovering new scenery spots, such as Belle Isle State Park in her new city.
“It’s cool there, Belle Isle reminds me of the harbor back home, it’s a water park, and kind of like an island,” she stated.
As a pastor’s daughter, Ayiana’s musical journey began in the church, for a while, she sang in the choir but later became interested in playing the guitar like her father. After convincing him to let her play, Ayianna self-taught and mastered the acoustic guitar and several other instruments such as the keyboard, bass & electric guitar.
She stated, “I fell off for a bit, but I’m in the process of refreshing my skills through research and hopefully becoming a one-woman band.”
In high school, her love for music heightened and Ayiana ended up joining/forming a successful girl group with two others in the local Baltimore area.
While Ayiana was in the group, she shared that she didn’t have the confidence to put herself out there and shied from being center stage. However, after performing with her brother ClrConscience (Gabe) for a while, and a push from her current girlfriend, Ayiana was able to take the steps to pursue a solo career in music in 2019.
“When I met my girlfriend, she gave me a lot of confidence and motivation to put myself out there, started working on myself, and now I'm pretty confident in my abilities,” she stated.
One of Ayiana’s biggest musical inspirations is the band, The Internet, due to their fearless all-black collective led by a queer woman and sound. She shared that as a queer artist, she suppressed who she was for some time, but The Internet offered a sense of representation and confidence within Ayiana to be herself.
“You don’t really see black girls playing the guitar or instruments, and I want to be that representation. Besides the fact that I love music, I also do music to inspire others,” she stated.
When it comes to Ayiana’s musical style, she differentiates from others through lyrical rawness and her ability to play guitar while singing (which is difficult in popular opinion).
Regarding the Music Scene in the DMV, although she stepped in at 17, Ayiana was able to explore Baltimore’s hub and described it as a beautiful and continuously growing area. “I have nothing negative to say about it,” she stated. Additionally, she appreciates local artists such as our past featured artist, BlackAssets, Ashley U, and her brother ClrConscious.
Besides music, Ayiana, with her girlfriend, manages an Etsy shop, “We Are Yumme," selling custom art pieces online. She also offers guitar lessons on the side and has started an Insta blog giving out vegetarian and vegan recipes to show off her incredible cooking.
“I plan on venturing into many other hobbies and eventually creating a town/strip of black-own businesses. I don’t know how, but I'm going to,” she stated.
Two years from now, Ayiana wishes to create black-own towns/establishments and build a home from the ground up. Regarding music, she’s currently writing songs, and is looking forward to recording and releasing a project.
When it comes to advice for aspiring artists, Ayiana would tell them to be consistent. “I’m still learning, but if you’re not consistent, you won’t be taken seriously.” Lastly, be true to yourself and make sure everything is 100% you; and don’t forget to use your intuition because everyone isn’t genuine.
Read more with A Closer Look below:
Who would win in a Verzus battle, Steven Lacy or Syd?
Overall?! Good question, but Steven Lacy, Syd is more on the lyrical side and Steven uses a lot of instruments on top of vocals which I like.
What song do you currently have on replay?
“D’Evils” by SiR & “2 The Music” by KAYTRANADA
What show can you watch over and over again?
“The Flash” or “The Arrow”, I love action shows.
What’s one thing you wish you didn’t have to pay for?
Sanitary Napkins, for real, don’t even get me started!
If you can hang out with any celebrity for a full day, who would it be and why?
Syd, I would honestly ask hella questions! I think it would be cool.
What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?
When I’m driving and people walk or ride their bikes in the middle of the street.
Would you rather Win $50,000 or let your best friend win $500,000?
I would let my best friend, AKA, my girlfriend, then WE would win $500,000!
Magnified Single: “Say Something” by Ayiana Maria
Written by Dejah Moné & Asha Cole